Rent versus buy? Buy! Jake and I were both Redfin junkies scouring Scottsdale home listings well before our move. Investing in a nice big home seemed like a no brainer. After all, this was not our first rodeo. We owned in Chicago and despite a few minor mishaps there (namely our renters’ car being stolen from the garage during their first week there), it was pretty painless. And getting our apartment in Hong Kong furnished and stocked within a month had to count for something right?!
Well turns out our experiences did’t completely prepare us for owning a house in a place that I have no qualms about saying, is kinda wild. Think rattlesnakes and scorpions our here in the desert are a myth? Think again. We’ve seen three of each already. Coyotes, bob cats, hawks and wild boars are known to prowl our neighborhood and have me wondering at what point we’ll cross paths. We get monsoon rains that tear up lawns and seep into the house one day, and dust storms that leave everything covered in grit the next. I’ve had a parade of landscapers, pool guys, and random technicians come through and while I continue to be amazed at how genuinely NICE people here are, it’s beyond odd to me that we have this slew of strangers ringing our doorbell every few days. (And don’t get me started on how bizarre it is to have a pool ‘boy’…) We’re miles away from our dads and without them, we find ourselves aimlessly wandering around the Home Depot and buried in so-called ‘small’ projects that seem darn near impossible.
And you know what else? Owning a home does not come cheap. Last night we got our first set of utility bills and after I witnessed Jake have a small panic attack, I found him on the kitchen floor clipping coupons. (He later presented me with a coupon for wine. At least he’s got our priorities straight.) The bills coupled with what felt like out of control spending on furniture and home decor (And what to show for it?! The house STILL looks empty!) left our heads spinning. Right then and there we decided things had to change. It was time to create…. a budget. To kick the one-click checkout habit on Amazon, and to start doing things for ourselves. Yes, DIY. After all, we have Pinterest to guide us. If it takes me sweating bullets in my 82 degree kitchen making my own bread, getting into the dirt to plant my own succulents, and yes, even rolling my own sushi so as to save a few bucks, so be it. If only I could produce my own wine, we’d really make a dent in those monthly bills.
TBD on whether these small efforts will pay off, but in the meantime, I am becoming a domestic goddess.
Jake didn’t know what he signed himself up for when he bought me a sushi making set. Sunday nights have become devoted to perfecting my craft. And his… although his martinis are pretty much perfect. Can’t say the same for the sushi.
And homemade bread? No problem. I’ve got a bread hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer.
Whoa rapid rise yeast! Looks like a candidate in serious need of a tummy tuck. Performed a minor procedure to fix her up and … voila!
Saving a whopping $10 a month replacing Bays English muffins.
Next up, the GARDEN. Another area where I have no skill but I fully expect to have dill, basil and rosemary running rampant in the next month!